Thorvald Stoltenberg is a former Norwegian politician. He served as Minister of Defense from 1979 until 1981 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1987 until1989 and again from 1990 until 1993 in two Labour governments.
From 1989 to 1990 he was appointed Norwegian Ambassador to the United Nations. In 1990 he became the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but served only one year before rejoining the Norwegian government. In 1993, he was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the former Yugoslavia and UN Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia.
In 2003 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). Between 1999 and 2008 he was President of the Norwegian Red Cross, the only president to serve three terms.